Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison -- a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cyber-sensibility to bring us the gigantic thriller of the information age. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's Cosa Nostra Inc., but it the Metaverse he's a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that's striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous... you'll recognize it immediately.
Showing 1-4 of the 4 most recent reviews
1 . Quirky but fun
Posted December 11, 2012 by Jeff , ConcordI pick this book off the bookshelf every once in a while just to re-read it, sometimes just a chapter at a time - every time, another small, often funny detail jumps out at me. No, the book isn't perfect in that it can get a little caught up in its own cleverness at times, but it's definitely worth reading at least once.
2 . No Issues resizing font
Posted May 25, 2010 by Bryan , CincinnatiFirst off, the review that claimed you could not resize the font gave me pause, but luckily I went ahead and purchased. No issues resizing on a 700. There was one passage in the book where I had to use a smaller font to see a table, but that was one table in the entire book.
I recently realized that I had never read any Stephenson. I asked a fan where to start, and he suggested this book and the Diamond Age. The book is great; engaging, thought-proving, basically everything I want in a good book. I'll be buying more Stephenson.
3 . BEWARE - Can't change font size
Posted March 03, 2010 by Mike Schryver , Portland, ORMy review isn't of the book per se, but of the Sony edition. The font size for this book can't be changed - not in the desktop reader, or on the device. On the Reader device, the font size is very small, which make this book essentially useless to me, since I need a larger font size.
Posted December 30, 2007 by dilirium , EverywerePossibly some of the best Sci-Fi ever written, and I am including Douglas Adams. This book takes a look at a possible future, and makes you believe we are headed there as we speak. Impeccably researched, this work makes the extraordinary world Stephenson has created live in the mind. Never in my life have I read a book that made me want to read it again before Snow Crash. I would recommend it to anyone who feels like the world is just a little too jaded, especially to pizza delivery drivers.
December 31, 1991
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Excerpt from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed sub-category. He's got esprit up to here. Right now he is preparing to carry out his third mission of the night. His uniform is black as activated charcoal, filtering the very light out of the air. A bullet will bounce off its arachno-fiber weave like a wren hitting a patio door, but excess perspiration wafts through it like a breeze through a freshly napalmed forest. Where his body has bony extremities, the suit has sintered armorgel: feels like gritty jello, protects like a stack of telephone books.
When they gave him the job, they gave him a gun. The Deliverator never deals in cash, but someone might come after him anyway--might want his car, or his cargo. The gun is a tiny, aero-styled, lightweight, the kind of a gun a fashion designer would carry; it fires teensy darts that fly at five times the velocity of an SR-71 spy plane, and when you get done using it, you have to plug it in to the cigarette lighter, because it runs on electricity.
The Deliverator never pulled that gun in anger, or in fear. He pulled it once in Gila Highlands. Some punks in Gila Highlands, a fancy Burbclave, wanted themselves a delivery, and they didn't want to pay for it. Thought they would impress the Deliverator with a baseball bat. The Deliverator took out his gun, centered its laser doo-hickey on that poised Louisville Slugger, fired it. The recoil was immense, as though the weapon had blown up in his hand. The middle third of the baseball bat turned into a column of burning sawdust accelerating in all directions like a bursting star. Punk ended up holding this bat handle with milky smoke pouring out the end. Stupid look on his face. Didn't get nothing but trouble from the Deliverator.
Since then the Deliverator has kept the gun in the glove compartment and relied, instead, on a matched set of samurai swords, which have always been his weapon of choice anyhow. The punks in Gila Highlands weren't afraid of the gun, so the Deliverator was forced to use it. But swords need no demonstration.
The Deliverator's car has enough potential energy packed into its batteries to fire a pound of bacon into the Asteroid Belt. Unlike a bimbo box or a Burb beater, the Deliverator's car unloads that power through gaping, gleaming, polished sphincters. When the Deliverator puts the hammer down, shit happens. You want to talk contact patches Your car's tires have tiny contact patches, talk to the asphalt in four places the size of your tongue. The Deliverator's car has big sticky tires with contact patches the size of a fat lady's thighs. The Deliverator is in touch with the road, starts like a bad day, stops on a peseta.
Why is the Deliverator so equipped Because people rely on him. He is a roll model. This is America. People do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, you got a problem with that Because they have a right to. And because they have guns and no one can fucking stop them. As a result, this country has one of the worst economies in the world. When it gets down to it--we're talking trade balances here--once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwaves in Tadzhikistan and selling them here--once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel--once the Invisible Hand has taken all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani bricklayer would consider to be prosperity--y'know what There's only four things we do better than anyone else